4000 Miles, Gabriel Ebert, Mary Louise Wilson, Linda Lavin, Santino Fontana and More Are Obie Winners

By Andrew Gans
May 21, 2012

The 57th Annual Obie Awards, honoring the best of Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway, were given out at a ceremony May 21 at Webster Hall in Greenwich Village.



The awards were presented by Eric McCormack, Grace Gummer, Hugh Dancy, Jonathan Pryce, Justin Bartha, Leslie Odom Jr., Lily Rabe, Michael McKean, Tonya Pinkins, Topher Grace and Tracee Chimo.

Entertainment included “Summertime,” performed by Joshua Henry and Sumayya Ali from the cast of The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess, and “Raglan Road," performed by David Patrick Kelly from the cast of Once. The ceremony kicked off with two numbers from newly minted Obie winner Ethan Lipton & His Orchestra from the show No Place to Go.

The Obies were judged by a committee of seven: Brian Parks, Michael Feingold, Alexis Soloski, Annie Baker, Anne Kauffman, José Rivera and Helen Shaw.

4000 Miles by Amy Herzog received the Obie Award for Best New American Play, which is accompanied by a $1,000 prize. 4000 Miles played an extended premiere last summer as part of Lincoln Center Theater's new works initiative LCT3. It is the first play from LCT3's new works program to graduate to a full Off-Broadway run at Lincoln Center Theater. The current production reunites the original LCT3 cast and was recently extended through July 1 at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater. In the play Tony Award winner Mary Louise Wilson stars as no-nonsense grandmother Vera, who still lives on her own in her West Village apartment. Gabriel Ebert plays her grandson Leo, who arrives at her door in the middle of the night, having crossed the country on his bicycle after a life-altering loss.

Caridad Svich—a playwright, translator and teacher—received the Obie Award for Lifetime Achievement.

A complete list of awards follows:

Best New American Play (with $1,000 prize)
Amy Herzog
4000 Miles (Lincoln Center Theater)

Performance
Cherise Boothe
Milk Like Sugar (Playwrights Horizons and the Women's Project)

Steven Boyer
Hand to God (Ensemble Studio Theatre/Youngblood)

Sweet and Sad Ensemble:
Jon DeVries, Shuler Hensley, Maryann Plunkett, Laila Robins, Jay O. Sanders, J. Smith-Cameron (The Public Theater)

Gabriel Ebert and Mary Louise Wilson
4000 Miles (Lincoln Center Theater)

Jim Fletcher
Sustained Excellence

Santino Fontana
Sons of the Prophet (The Roundabout Theatre)

Linda Lavin
The Lyons (The Vineyard Theatre)

Susan Pourfar
Tribes (Barrow Street Theatre)

Playwriting

Kirsten Greenidge
Milk Like Sugar (Playwrights Horizons and the Women's Project)

Direction

Richard Maxwell
Early Plays (The Wooster Group and St. Ann's Warehouse)

Jay Scheib
World of Wires (The Kitchen)

Design

Mark Barton, Sustained Excellence of Lighting Design

Mimi Lien, Sustained Excellence of Set Design

Matt Tierney and Ben Williams, sound design
The Select (The Sun Also Rises) (New York Theatre Workshop)

Special Citations

Mark Bennett, Denis O'Hare, Lisa Peterson and Stephen Spinella
An Iliad (New York Theatre Workshop)

Elevator Repair Service
Sustained Excellence

Erin Courtney and Ken Rus Schmoll
A Map of Virtue (13P)

Steven Hoggett, Martin Lowe and John Tiffany
Once (New York Theatre Workshop)

Daniel Kitson
It's Always Right Now, Until It's Later (St. Ann's Warehouse)

Ethan Lipton & His Orchestra
No Place to Go (The Public Theater/Joe's Pub)

Ross Wetzsteon Grant ($1,000)
Youngblood (Ensemble Studio Theatre)

Grants
The Bushwick Starr ($2,500)
The Debate Society ($2,500)

Lifetime Achievement
Caridad Svich